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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 5120-9-25 | Appearance and grooming of male inmates.


(A) Inmates shall be required to be neat and well groomed, and otherwise conform their appearance to the standards set forth in this rule. Inmates refusing to do so may be subject to force and/or appropriate disciplinary action consistent with this rule. Inmates may purchase personal hygiene items, including shaving materials, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and towels through the commissary. The institution may issue these items without charge or on credit if the inmate is indigent.

(B) Toilet facilities and toilet paper shall be available to all inmates. The institution shall have authority to place limitations on such facilities when necessary for safety or security.

(C) Inmates shall have the opportunity to shower no less than five times weekly.

Inmates must be given a reasonable length of time under the shower to be able to soap and clean themselves properly.

(D) Haircuts shall be provided as needed. Hair shall be kept clean. Hair must, at all times, remain readily and thoroughly searchable for contraband. Hair that is in such condition that it cannot be readily and thoroughly searched is prohibited and shall be subject to forced cutting as provided in paragraph (I) of this rule. For purposes of this rule, "searchable" shall mean that it can be determined, through ordinary search procedures, whether the inmate's hair contains contraband. Ordinary search procedures include, but are not limited to, passing a hand-held metal detector over the inmate's hair and scalp to determine whether any metal objects are present and/or directing the inmate to turn his head upside-down and run his fingers vigorously through his hair.

Braids and dreadlocks may be worn subject to the limitations of this rule and provided that the thickness of each individual braid or dreadlock does not exceed one-half inch. The following hairstyles or facial hair are not permitted: initials, symbols, dyes, multiple parts, hair disproportionately longer in one area than another (excluding natural baldness) and weaves. Other hairstyles not specifically listed herein may be prohibited if they are determined to be either a threat to security or contrary to other legitimate penological concerns, as determined by the director's designee. The managing officer may impose restrictions or authorize exemptions to these prohibitions for documented medical or mental health reasons, in conjunction with medical or mental health treatment, or to accommodate a sincerely held religious belief.

(E) In the interest of security or proper enforcement of department rules, hair may be searched or checked for compliance with this rule at any time.

(F) Sideburns, beards, and moustaches must be clean and neatly trimmed.

(G) A new photo shall be taken whenever in the judgment of the managing officer or designee any significant change in physical appearance has taken place. Rephotographing shall be at the inmate's expense if the change in appearance is occasioned by grooming changes.

(H) A reception inmate may receive a haircut, if necessary, for reasons of sanitation or as otherwise permitted by this rule.

(I) Forced haircuts shall only be given if the inmate has not been given an exemption from the grooming restrictions set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule, the inmate has been given an order to cut his hair, has disobeyed the order, has been issued a conduct report and the rules infraction board determines that the hairstyle is contrary to this rule. All reception inmates shall receive a haircut before an institution picture is taken, if necessary to bring the inmate in compliance with this rule. In the interest of maintaining security and sanitary conditions, unless the inmate is asserting a sincerely held religious belief as a condition of the inmate's hair, forced haircuts may also be issued to reception inmates without a conduct report or rules infraction board approval. A log shall be maintained denoting all forced haircuts in reception facilities and other institutions. The log shall include the date, the inmate's name, number, race, the circumstances, and the employee authorizing the forced haircut. The institution must also comply with all required procedures regarding the use of force. Inmates shall conform their appearance to the standards set forth in this rule. Inmates refusing to do so shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include requiring an inmate's hair to be cut or trimmed against his will.

(J) The rules infraction board may indefinitely restrict the style or length of hair of any inmate who is convicted of concealing contraband in, or other misuse of, his hair or facial hair or is administratively convicted of escape-related misconduct or criminal activity.

(K) Male inmates are not permitted to wear earrings.

(L) Inmates performing work assignments which may reasonably be determined to include safety hazards or sanitary concerns may be required to wear appropriate protective equipment, such as hats, hair nets, etc.

(M) Inmates are not permitted to manicure each other's nails or eyebrows, style or cut another inmate's hair, or perform any other cosmetic procedure on another inmate, except in an authorized program or by inmates who have been authorized by the institution to perform such duties. Hair clippings shall be considered contraband and may not be retained by any inmate.

(N) Institutions may require inmates to cut their fingernails and toenails. Fingernails and toenails shall not extend beyond the tips of the fingers or toes.

(O) Inmates must be neatly and fully dressed at all times when outside their living area in the uniform of the day or appropriate attire as established by the institution.

Last updated December 20, 2021 at 2:33 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 5120.01
Amplifies: 5120.36
Five Year Review Date: 1/8/2025
Prior Effective Dates: 5/1/1973, 1/13/1979, 8/29/1983, 8/26/1991, 6/10/1992, 4/12/2007, 10/29/2012, 2/16/2016, 7/11/2016